A. Hypogaea albus (Peanut Elf), Fig. 2

Wendy's work is in the 10th Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2012!

  •   $100
    | 14"x11"
      Edition of 150
  •   $250
    | 20"x16"
      Edition of 50
  •   $500
    | 24"x20"
      Edition of 25
  •   $1,000
    | 40"x30"
      Edition of 5

The prints you receive are archival, chromogenic prints on a semi-matte paper with a longevity of 100+ years under normal light conditions.

The quoted dimensions refer to the paper size, and not the size of image contained within the paper. Each image is printed with a minimum 1/4" border to allow for framing, and ships with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist.

Wendy N. Given
A. Hypogaea albus (Peanut Elf), Fig. 2, 2008
from the series A. Hypogaea albus (Peanut Elves)


The concept for A. hypogaea albus (Peanut Elves) originated from a game I was taught as a small child by my mother and grandparents which involved searching for elves inside of raw peanuts. The true origin of the game is unknown, although, it traditionally passed through several generations of my maternal family in the Netherlands as a pastime of discovery, patience, and imagination. In order to produce the peanut elves, I sorted through hundreds of peanut halves to discover specimens that contained a recognizable elf "face" in the seedpod when viewed with the naked eye. Then, I very minimally and carefully carved each seedpod to enhance the preexisting prominent features of each peanut elf. With focused lighting, careful placement of shadows, and the use of a macro lens, each peanut assumes a distinctive identity with elvish features. By enlarging the peanut elves approximately thirty times the actual size, the complexity, realism and detail of the individual elves are readily accessible to the viewer. The outcome of the project initiates the viewer into a renewed awareness and piqued interest in discovering, or rediscovering, the typically unseen realm of our existence.


Magic, nature, folklore and the various processes of human awareness and perception are all subjects that greatly interest me. As a result of these interests, I have considerably directed the focus of my work over the past five years towards investigating the extraordinary and otherworldly occurrent findings hidden within the natural world. I am also very interested in inattentional blindness, also known as perceptual blindness, which is the phenomenon of not being able to see things that are actually there. This can be a result of having no internal frame of reference to perceive the unseen objects, or it can be the result of the mental focus or attention which causes mental distractions. I believe the Peanut Elves are a poignant example of inattentional blindness. I have found that many people have never actually seen an elf in a peanut—simply because they did not know it was there—or even to look for it. Overall, it is great fun to introduce viewers to this natural and enchanting phenomena.


Read more on the related blog post.


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